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Yard Selling Tips
For the Love of Yard Sales!
I don't know about any of you, but I love going to yard sales! However, having one of my own has always been a hassle and a big headache for me. I've come up with some tips and tricks to get you through your yard sale weekend (or however long you decide to have it).
Yard sales have been around for decades, probably even centuries, so naturally there are several names for them. Rummage sales and garage sales are just a couple names that people have for them. There is also the misconception that only people with a low-income go to yard sales or have their own. This is simply not true! Not only do you save money by shopping at yard sales, but in a sense you're also saving the environment because instead of throwing out that old purse or pair of shoes, you can sell it to someone who could get more use out of it. Now, enough with the small talk! Let's talk shop!
*Photo credit goes to Wesleyopelika
Tips & Tricks
Save time, hassle, and headaches.
Before we get to the fun stuff, we should go over some rules and regulations of yard selling. First and foremost before you decide where to put up those big, colorful signs, you need to figure out if there are any laws or restrictions on where you can or cannot hang signs. You should also ask if there are laws on how many times during the year you're allowed to have a sale because some bigger towns / cities do have certain regulations on these types of things.
No matter where you live, whether it be a large city or a small town in the country, you'll want to attract customers right?! And the best way to do that is advertising! You can post ads for free online. There are several sites that offer free yard sale ad postings and classifieds (check out my list of Related Links towards the bottom of this lens. Another great way to get exposure to your sale is to advertise in your local newspaper. If you live in a rural area, you may want to ask your neighbors if they'd like to have a yard sale of their own. That way, people will be more likely to drive to your area if they know that there will be more than one sale going on.
You can even create smaller ads and post them to community bulletin boards. Make sure your ad is eye-catching and easy to read (this goes for any type of advertisement). One of the best ways to get the word out is simply word of mouth. Tell everyone you know that you're having a sale! And be sure to have them tell their friends and family. Oh, and post about it on Facebook!! Technology is booming these days and people are more likely to read your Facebook posts than stand at the super market reading the bulletin board ads.
Always make sure you have everything you'll need handy before you "open" your sale. Be sure to have a sufficient amount of change in case someone wants to pay with larger bills. It's always nice to keep a lot of grocery bags (plastic or paper, your choice) for the shopper who needs an extra hand. I know how it feels when I'm at a yard sale and the people see me trying to carry several things at once and they don't offer me a bag. I just think it's common courtesy.
Also, figure out if you have enough parking space to handle 3-5 more cars than you normally hold in your driveway / front yard. Be sure that people won't be blocking the roads or having trouble pulling out of a parking spot. It just causes problems for everyone involved.
Give yourself some time to go through items in your home and decide what goes to the sale and what you want to keep. Place everything in boxes and try to keep it organized and out of the way until you're ready to set things up. That way, you won't have to go digging through everything at the last minute. It's probably best to keep clothes with clothes and antiques with antiques, that sort of thing.
Don't be Rude Randy
I just hate it when I stop by a yard sale and the sellers act like they hate the whole situation and they're just down-right rude to everyone. Keep a cheerful attitude even if you've had a slow start to the day and the weather isn't what you were hoping for. That one extra smile you give to the little old lady down the street may be the difference between an extra sale and an unsatisfied customer who leaves empty handed.
If you have pets, be sure to keep them away from customers. Some people are afraid of dogs, some people are allergic to cats, and I don't know too many people who want animal hair all over something they're trying to purchase.
If someone tries to get something at a lower price than you originally wanted (aka haggling) don't be rude about it. You can lower your prices by 10 cents and someone may be happy, but the majority of shoppers won't get it unless you offer a 25 cent discount. Consider offering deals on items if customers purchase more than one. For example, if you have your books priced at 25 cents you can also offer five for one dollar. So they would be getting one for free, but it really doesn't dip too much into your profits.
Please, please make sure that everything you're selling is clean and neatly displayed. I won't buy anything from someone who has dirty children's toys and hair covered clothing in their sale. And NEVER sell used underwear!! That is a huge no-no! And it's just down-right gross.
Best Time to Have a Sale
The best time (in my opinion) to have a yard sale is in late Spring or early Fall. Of course, all through Summer is a great time as well if you can find a day that isn't blistering hot. This year (2012) we had several very hot days but I still couldn't pass up a yard sale if I saw one! My favorite thing to do is figure out when a local town is having their town wide yard sales and go during those weekends. You'll get more traffic to your sale if you have it when other people are doing theirs. I wouldn't drive to another town just for one or two sales, I'd like to be able to park somewhere and walk to several different sales one right after the other.
*Photo credit goes to Inquisitr
Now, I know everyone is different but I'd like to share a list of things that usually catch my eye when yard selling:
- Baby Girl Clothes
- Antiques (Especially anything mushroom or owl related)
- Collectables (old coins, postage stamps, postcards, old photographs - some of these things I don't usually come across at yard sales)
- Books, Children's Books, Old Books, Coloring Books
- Jewelry (it catches my eye, but I don't usually buy any of it)
- Toys (must be clean and well taken care of)
- Video Games, Computer Games (I recently found a brand new Home Designs Suite program for $1! However, I can't figure out how to use it. I need to Google that information. haha)
- Scrapbooking Supplies, Stickers, Crafts (LOVE this stuff but it must be priced fairly)
Duel Debate Module
What are your views on yard sales, having them and shopping at them?